Soon, You Might Need to Pay for Your Plastic Bags in Supermarkets

do you ask for a plastic bag even if you buy a bottle of drink from FairPrice?

If you do, then you’re not going to like what the giant supermarket chains of Singapore are up to.

Supermarkets Might Charge You For Plastic Bags In 2018


Yup, consumers will have to pay for plastic bags in the future.

It was reported that the four giants of the supermarket industry are currently in talks to implement an industry-wide plastic bag surcharge.

And by giants, we mean FairPrice, Dairy Farm Group (Giant & Cold Storage), Prime Supermarket and Sheng Siong.

If the talks are successful, you’re looking at a 5 to 10 cents surcharge for each plastic bag.


It All Started With Zero Waste Singapore

As with every Green initiative in the whole wide world, it’s started by an environmental movement group.

They called on the Government and businesses in Singapore last year to introduce a levy on plastic bags.

They believe that with the levy, Singaporeans will be deterred from asking for more plastic bags than necessary.

Singapore uses 3 billion plastic bags in 2011

And I’m not surprised because every household uses plastic bags to throw their rubbish down the chute.

And plastic bags contaminated by food waste are not recycled.

In a study in 2013 by the Singapore Environment Council, Singapore used a whopping 3 billion plastic bags in 2011.

And that number is expected to rise.

S’pore’s only landfill projected to be full a decade earlier


Singapore has only one landfill and it’s on Pulau Semakau, an island 8km away from Singapore.

After the plastic waste is burnt, the ashes are carted to this landfill.

And it’s filling up so quickly it might be full at 2035, 10 years earlier than projected.

They had initially wanted to use the ashes as one of the ingredients for reclaimed land materials but no other news was heard after 2015.

Not to mention burning plastic waste creates carbon dioxide which contributes to the global warming effect.


Bad news, it’s likely to come true

Although news reports have said that the four supermarkets are currently in talks to decide if they’re implementing the levy, let’s face it.

It’s more than likely going to be put in place. Probability = 100%.

And it could happen as soon as mid-2018.

Who’s going to boycott them? Everyone needs to go grocery shopping and every supermarket is doing it.

And previous businesses who did it has done so with spectacular results.

Like IKEA with their Balenciaga IKEA bag


It was so successful a well-known brand misappropriated their design and sold it for a whopping $4k. 

Okay, just kidding.

But they managed to change the behaviour of customers, prompting them to bring their own bags or carry their stuff by hand.

Miniso 10 cent charge for every plastic bag


They imposed a plastic bag charge in all 25 stores back in April and has since seen plastic bag usage drop by about 75%.

From 200k plastic bags per month, it has since dropped to an average of 75,000 plastic bags per month.

Will it deter people from buying plastic bags?

What do you think of this move? Will it drastically reduce plastic waste?

Yes, maybe.

But for most people, it’ll likely become an additional expense to get the bags.

I mean, Singaporeans will still need to bag their rubbish and throw it down the chute. #JustSaying

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Boon Hun

Boon Hun

Armed with paper and pen, or rather keyboard and the internet, he wants to change the world one word at a time. I guess you could call him a keyboard warrior, except he doesn't troll, honest!
Boon Hun